Episode Notes

Ian Lee chats with Laide and  provides his insights on DAOs, what they are, and how they fit within the Web3 Ecosystem. Ian also shares more about the various tools Syndicate has created to simplify DAO formation, coordination, investments amongst others. 

Ian is the co-founder of Syndicate, an Investing protocol and social network. Syndicate is revolutionizing investing by changing how communities and capital work together through accessible, effortless, and social web3 technologies. Syndicate recently launched a Web3 investment club, which turns any wallet into a web3-native investing DAO.

Topics & Timeline

  • 1:50 - Ian's background & interest in Web3
  • 3:50 - Incumbents & their reception to blockchain technology
  • 9:25 - DAOs as a coordination mechanism
  • 13:20 - Origin and Evolution of DAOs
  • 20:37 - DAO Formation
  • 26:05 - DAO discovery problems & potential opportunities
  • 29:45 - About Syndicate's Web3 Investment Clubs
  • 38:45 - Legality & Regulation of DAOs
  • 42:10 - Next steps for DAOs
  • 45:22 - What's next for Syndicate
  • 49:08 - Ian highlights a few of his favorite DAOs
  • 51:30 - Ian's recommended resources

Links from this Episode

Ian's Recommended Resources

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Episode Transcript

disclaimer: may contain unintentionally confusing, inaccurate, comical transcription errors amongst others)

Ian: Similar to this digital photography and many other innovations that came from the internet. What often happens is that in this case the technological innovation is actually paired with a business model innovation and it's actually the business model innovation, not the technical innovation.

That is the most disruptive thing to the. And I think that that is definitely true in the case of crypto and web3, is that yes, the technical innovation is, is really exciting. No, the technology is actually not that hard, but the business model innovation is what is actually the most disruptive thing.

That's what's ultimately going to make things the most challenging for incumbents.

Laide: That was Ian Lee, Ian is the co-founder of Syndicate, an Investing protocol and social network. Syndicate is revolutionizing investing by changing how communities and capital work together through accessible, effortless, and social web3 technologies. Syndicate recently launched a Web3 investment club, which turns any wallet into a web3-native investing DAO. In this episode, Ian provides his insights on DAOs, what they are, and how they fit within the Web3 Ecosystem. Ian also shares more about the various tools Syndicate has created to simplify DAO formation, coordination, investments amongst others.

While Ian has been in this space for almost a decade and has seen various transformations, he however has a more balanced take on those changes as well as how things might evolve. I really enjoyed his pragmatic perspective and I'm sure you will too. Without further ado, here's Ian.

Hi, Ian. Welcome to the Onchain Medley podcast. How are you doing today?

Ian: I'm doing fantastic. Thank you

Laide: Thank you for coming on the show. I'm excited to learn more about you and syndicate and all the things you're going to be chatting with us about today.

Yeah, let's just kick it off and start with your background in foreign to this world of web three blockchain crypto.

Ian: So I've been in crypto and web three full-time professionally for eight years. I started in 2014 when I joined Citi groups, venture arm called Citi ventures in Palo Alto. and was tasked initially with looking at Bitcoin back in 2014, and pretty quickly realized that what I was looking at here was not a cryptocurrency, but in fact, the foundations of an open tech stack.

And when I realized that I knew that this was going to be a really big deal, even though I didn't have a clear picture of how it would develop over time. Now, during that era, I guess for three years, I was, the head of crypto and blockchain. Across the bank globally. I led a lot of our internal and external initiatives.

During that time. I also helped IDEO start the crypto division in 2015. I joined that in 2017, helped spin out a venture capital fund focused on web three and crypto investments in 2018 and was the co-managing partner of that venture fund for four years, where I invested in an, in kelp to incubate over 80 startups in the crypto space.

And. In 2020 started working on my own idea with someone that I had met actually, while I was at IDEO four years before that. And eventually that turned into Cindy, which we then spun out in the beginning of 2021, which. Focus on for the last year. That's awesome.

Laide: Thank you for sharing that background when you were just talking and you mentioned that you were working in the bank and working on crypto and blockchain.

I know there's been a lot of talk about banks, their reception towards this whole technology, but do you have any just quick thoughts on that? Do you think people are becoming more open to it? What was that reaction back then? How have you seen it change? Just curious

Ian: about that. I've lived through a lot of different transformations, I guess, of how banks and incbents have.

This technology as it's evolved over the last almost decade. When I first got into this space in 2014, the party line among the banking sector was that this technology was a fraud and that it was going to go away in a matter of months or certainly years. And I think that the thinking of the mental model for traditional incbents, whether banks or even technology firms now.

This technology has evolved from Bitcoin to Ethere, to blockchains, to, you know, more broadly web three is that this technology is really different and it's here to stay. And I think that the traditional banking sector, my former company, employer included like Citi group have come to realize that. And in many cases, even as early as you know, this year, they've set up digital asset teams across the.

To understand where the opportunities are, where the capabilities are that they need to build for the future and are trying to, as best they can adapt to this technology revolution that is starting to happen in web three and crypto. I'm not particularly optimistic that they're going to be able to figure it out.

To be honest, this is a classic innovator's dilemma. This is very much like prior kind of technological and business model disruptions that have happened over decades in the business area, namely like the, the rise of frankly, the internet more than 20 years ago. And so I think that this is honestly like the Kodak moment, for the banking sector.

And I think that in my opinion, few of them will be able to successfully navigate that transition. Unfortunately. Over the next decade or more.

Laide: Hmm. Interesting. That's an interesting insight. It's following up on that then. Where are you in this whole sort of division between web two and web three? Like, do you think those banks let's use them as an example, we'll be around and have a place in society?

Or do you think you'll eventually just have their, as you said, Kodak moment where they fade and they get replaced by blockchain technology defy and all the others whose financial obligations of the blockchain.

Ian: Yeah. It's something that I've thought about for many, many years, both as a, I guess, member and employee or, or executive at a bank as a venture capital investor.

And now as a startup founder in web three. And I think that the answer to that is, is a little bit nuanced. So first of all, this technology revolution is not the same as for example, digital photography, like, you know, the case of Kodak. That said, I think that the disruption is just as, if not more profound, just may take a little bit more time than digital photography.

So that's number one. Number two though, is that similar to digital photography and many other innovations that came from the internet? What often happens is that in this case, right? the technological innovation is actually paired with a business model. And it's actually the business model innovation, not the technical innovation, that is the most disruptive thing to the industry.

And I think that that is definitely true in the case of crypto and web three, is that yes, the technical innovation is, is really exciting. No, the technology is actually not that hard, but the business model innovation is what is actually the most disruptive thing. And that's, what's ultimately going to make things the most challenging for incbents.

And if you look at traditional disruptive, History and innovation history over over many, many decades. What usually happens is that the business model innovation ends up changing the ecosystem and the landscape of players. It doesn't mean for example, that there will not be banks or the equivalent of banks in the future.

I don't believe that. for example, Technical utopian dream of banks, for example, or at least the functions that they provide completely going away and being completely automated on the blockchain. That's going to happen anytime soon. I mean, certainly in my lifetime, at least, and potentially more than that, but that said this technology and the business model disruption that is enabled by.

He is going to fundamentally change the roles in this new system. And what is critical, I guess, for an incumbent is to understand what those roles are and to build for those future roles and functions. And what it means is that those roles are different and they are going to have to remap their organization's capabilities and business models to those new roles.

And that is going to be the hardest thing I think for incumbents to do. To build capabilities or build for new roles that in particular have business models that don't seem particularly attractive in the near term because they are very different, very different business models and very different things in the long run.

That's going to be the hardest thing actually for incumbents to do is to successfully navigate that transition because the business model changed.

Laide: H? Fascinating. That's really interesting. And speaking of, you know, business models, one aspect of business model that's being proposed or is taking shape and, and this what three world is DAO's decentralized autonomous organizations.

Can you just share a little bit more about why that is? Why is it important? where do they fit in this web three ecosystem and what they enable that we weren't able to do before?

Ian: So I think one of the most interesting lenses to DAOs is that DAO's unlike other crypto technologies or technology innovations that came from crypto and lift three is fundamentally a technology that not only coordinates financial capital on the internet natively and all these blockchains natively, but it also coordinates human beings.

On the internet natively, along with that financial capital. So if you look at a lot of the innovations that have come out of web three over the past decade, right? First Bitcoin, the smart contract technology, then scaling solutions than privacy solutions than a defy decentralized finance solutions like decentralized exchanges and automated market makers.

, lending models, then more recently, you know, things related to NFTs and whatnot. Most of these technology innovations have been primarily about moving digital assets or moving financial assets from one place to another seamlessly on the internet, but what they haven't been doing, Really intentionally is coordinating human beings along with that definitional capital or those digital assets.

And that is what I think DAO technologies ultimately represent is that it is a social financial technology that natively enables han capital and financial capital to be coordinated seamlessly on the internet together. And I think that that is really profound because the world is not just. Financial assets.

, the world won't just be digital assets. There is a tremendous, obviously amount of han capital and social capital that exists in our world. And it's actually, when that comes into the web three space via technology, like DAOs where this technology starts to do things that previously it could not.

And so I think that if you look at doubt, technologies has. You know, hans, financial capital technology. It has a variety of applications. obviously the one that we're focused on in the near term is how can reinvent or reimagine investing, which is fundamentally in of itself, a financial and human.

Process, but there are many other applications, including, for example, like the future of work and organizations themselves, where a lot of different communities in web three are now starting to use DAO technologies to coordinate human resources, to work on things and be rewarded for those financially in ways that.

The traditional, I guess, architectures like for example, corporations or LLCs or other things are not as efficient at, in terms of, natively operating on the internet. So I think that there's so many applications of doubt technologies. When you reframe this way, I'm a big believer having been in this space for, you know, almost a decade that DAO's could be one of, if not the most profound technology to emerge from live.

At least when

Laide: I think about dolls and things I was wondering about is just how difficult it is to coordinate human beings together towards a goal at any level. And I'm not really sure how DAO really answers that. A solves that. And I'm just curious if you have any thoughts there. I know there's the token omics of it all, but to me, I'm just like, it's really hard to get a bunch of people to do something.

, whereas in like a traditional corporate structure, it's clear you exchanging your time for dollars in no way, shape or form. I know it's sort of similar to DAO, but I still don't understand how it's different. So can you just help me grasp that a little bit better? Yeah.

Ian: I mean, this is, it's one of the central questions in terms of how and where DAO's get adopted over what timescale.

I think that if you look at the origins of DAO technologies that it originates from. The original doubt in 2016, which was this, you know, global DAO on Ethereum that was trying to invest in projects in Ethereum, you know, globally. And it was a, not only a really ambitious project that ultimately had a, unfortunately, a, a technical bug in the code that resulted in its, failure, I guess.

But, it was also really ambitious in terms of. How many human beings, it was trying to coordinate it once. And I think that a lot of the explorations and projects that emerged after that, during what I would consider, like the DAO winter, almost like phase two of Dallas from 2017, all the way up until frankly like, you know, this year are mostly like these kind of generalized, DAO tools and infrastructure for coordinating many, many people on the internet at once.

Trestles. And I think that what has been learned or, or is being learned from those pursuits is that it is very difficult to your point to coordinate hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of people on the internet together in a trustless way. And, and I think that there's a lot of great work that has been done and it's being done to help figure that out.

But at the same time, I think that in terms of DAO technologies, applications, practically, I guess, in the world, in my mind. And in our online, it starts a little bit differently. It starts in smaller groups as opposed to bigger groups. And so what we've been seeing on our side here at syndicate is that a lot of DAOs actually can extend all the way DAO to even a group of a couple people or a few people.

And a lot of these groups are actually group chats. They live oftentimes on telegram or WhatsApp or discord, or even an email thread, or maybe they even exist in the real world. They're like a group of friends and whatnot. And what they want to do is, just more seamlessly coordinate their activities in web three via kind of Adele construct.

And what often happens is that there's actually a little. Social trust imbedded in these little groups, they actually are, are typically not trustless. Meaning these people know each other really well. They have years and years of relationships behind them. And so, there's actually a lot of just trusted embedded in this social trust embedded in these groups and what they're looking for doubt technologies to do, or more seamlessly kind of coordinate their activities.

Like for example, specifically investing active. natively on the internet together, very, very easily. And so what oftentimes happens like for syndicates DAOs, which today anyone can see. and investment club there, you know, group of friends, on Ethere right now by transforming a wallet into an investee.

Now, is that what happens? Is that like a group of friends, in a chat they say, Hey, let's start an investment club lists vice amenities together, or let's, you know, invest in some way, three projects together, which they may already be doing kind of ad hoc today. Oftentimes kind of recording that very manually and painfully on a spreadsheet offline.

And so what they do is they create a DAO. They run it very easily, cheaply and efficiently as a DAO, but they handle all of the communications and the governance decisions, actually just within their telegram chat or their discord group. And that's sufficient actually for running.

A small little doubt. And I think that that model actually we're finding scales too many groups, even above just a few people. Like we have some DAOs that are, you know, north of 20, 30, 50 people, and they're just running it completely via discord. And it's very efficient and painless. Now I think that beyond that, right, when we're talking in the hundreds or.

That's where things get pretty complicated. I think that there's a lot to be learned there there's a lot of great experiments out there from like a market perspective. It may still be some time until, you know, we figured out where the industry has figured out, like what the best practices are for Dallas in the hundreds or thousands of people.

I don't think we're there yet. And so we're trying to learn as much as we can from the, with the rest of the industry. We're trying to contribute our learnings as much as we can with the rest of the industry. So that over time. You know, DAOs are able and ready to scale to the hundreds of thousands of people and effectively re-imagined, I guess the traditional corporate or organizational model, like an LLC or C Corp, that will be figured out by them.

But I think that, you know, for example, some of these doubts that are more than. Thousands or tens of thousands, those are working well, primarily for particular applications of that. Namely like open source non-profit management of an open source protocol. People refer to them as like protocol DAOs or whatever, or protocol treasury gals.

And I think that that's okay. that's, that's working fine and there's still a lot to be learned there. I think it's everything in the middle between like, you know, these smaller group chats to like 10,000 person protocol, treasury gals, that, that stuff in the middle is actually very difficult. And there's still a lot to be learned there.

Laide: Yeah. I definitely agree that. Keep it in small. I totally see the value and it makes a lot of sense. But do you think that we'll eventually get to a point where we'll need to have a DAO for hundreds of thousands of people? Or do you think. It will eventually be kept where a DAO is inefficient pass a certain number of people or is all that stuff?

Well, to be determined, I

Ian: think the honest answer is it's so big to be determined, but what I would say is that our perspective on this is that it is going to be much more complex than just a monolithic Dell, whether it's on the small side or on the large side. we actually think that. What people think of is quote unquote DAO's today will actually be multiple DAOs in the future, meaning or implying that there's actually a constellation of DAOs that are, are purpose built for different things.

And they will be able to somehow work together as a network to achieve kind of shared purpose and shared. And I think that that is very likely, where things are headed, what the exact end state and what the exact sequence of components to that future will be as is to be determined. But that's. what we in and I think a number of other teams are, are kind of gotcha.

Laide: One of the things I've always tried to understand is like, what's the seed that leads DAOs to be formed. And, you know, there's some examples of like the constitution now, you know, that got together to try to buy the copy of the constitution. Obviously they were successful, but I was just wondering like, why did we have to create a DAO for that?

And then there's spiced out. Bought a copy of the dune novel and they didn't have the rights to maybe make movies or content out of that novel. Like, do you just have any thoughts on there? It just seems like everyone's starting to doubt, but I'm never really clear on why. Do you have any thoughts

Ian: on that?

, I mean, I'm not super close to what's going on there, but I mean, I don't think that, for example, like, you know, spice styles, challenges, or whatever are specific to DAOs, I, I think that as you mentioned, like with respect to copyright and the ability, the permission to use that IP, that's a very like legal thing in the off-chain world that, is.

Just a legal thing. It's not like a DAO thing. And so I think that, you know, taking a step back from, from all of that, I think the thing to learn, I guess, from things like spice out and other things is where is this technology going to be? the most useful and the most valuable, in terms of being applied.

Because I think that in certain scenarios, DAOs are maybe at best like an incremental improvement, like a one. To, to ask improvement or maybe even like a negative one to negative negative five that's improvement, depending on what it is. But I think for other, you know, certain applications or use cases, it is maybe not even a test, but potentially a hundred to a thousand X improves.

Over traditional systems. And I think that, like, for example, with respect to constitution, Dalglish members of our, I guess our team were, were, involved in helping support kind of like guide, I guess, constitution through that process. Is that constitution. Now you just can't imagine that existing in the traditional world.

I mean, how would you do that in a matter of days without kind of doubt technology? I mean, you would have to set up a nonprofit organization. You would have to somehow set up a donation mechanism or mechanisms by which to coordinate, you know, people on the internet and capital on the internet seamlessly it's in all likelihood, inconceivable.

, constitution doubt or something like that would have been able to be. As quickly as it could have been and raise as much capital and donations as it could have without doubt technologies. Now, did it figure out kind of, you know, all of this stuff on the backend to figure out how to, place a bid on Sotherby's in the real world and take care of all like, kind of like the tax implications and, and how that would impact like their, their bid amount?

, no, and that's one of, you know, many learnings from, from that exercise, but I think that. You know, constitution now. And, but, but more importantly, like other applications is, are like a hundred to a thousand X improvements over traditional systems. Like, you know, the investment clothes, for example, that, we launched on syndicate or with syndicate is we think like a thousand bucks or more improvement because now it allows any group chat, basically a friends or community and web free to.

Spin up an investment club with their fellow friends and community to invest in the things that they care about. And so, for example, you know, 50%, actually more than 50% of the DAOs that we've been, we have been working with prior to the launch last week, were women led or all women Dallas. And what they're doing is they're sitting up really quickly to invest in more women founders and to bring more women into a freeing and invest.

Now, arguably they could have done that in the traditional world without a doubt technology, but doubt technology. And you know, and our, our specifically, our specifically like in the investment club, space is thousand X more efficient to the point where it enables these groups to spin up basically within a minute.

And, as a result of that, it lowers the barriers to entry. It improves access, democratization and availability of these tools for communities like theirs to start to, you know, take action and coordinate. And as a result, it increases diversity, increases creativity and increases the number of people that, can be a part of, you know, whatever community or industry they are trying to serve, which in this case is, you know, bringing more women, into a free and into the investing industry.

Laide: Yeah, I saw that. That's so cool. Thank you for sharing that. And I agree. I think it's definitely lowering the barrier to entry and access. and I think that's great, but I also see it as a double-edged sword just because it's so easy to do it that way. If we're going to sort of do it for some of the wrong reasons, and you're going to see a lot of fallout till we eventually start it in some better signals that sort of.

When it doesn't necessary versus what you better have, just not doing one. So that's really interesting. Thank you for sharing that. As you're talking to, one of the things I start thinking about, just given how it's lowering the bar to entry and accessibility is like, we're going to eventually have a discovery problem, or there's going to be a billion dollars and no one's going to really know which ones to support or how to get involved and just gives given you're in this space a lot.

Are you seeing any sort of tools that have been generated for discovery and access or. Too

Ian: early. No, I mean, I think that we've, we've been anticipating. that this would happen, tools like syndicate and probably others, you know, start to really, take DAOs more mainstream and, and make them easier and more available to people.

I mean, I think that we've already been anticipating that we're already seeing that even on our, you know, on syndicates network, even, you know, less than a week, post-launch. And I think that we have already been starting to think through what that means and what new problems start to emerge as well as what are new opportunities start to emerge.

I think on the problem side, right? Like to your point, there becomes a discovery problem. and you know, there'll become too many of these things. So obviously. creates some challenges, but on the kind of like glass half full side, I think that what becomes now possible is actually the opportunity to surface, communities that previously were not even a thing.

, and now via kind of the different discovery mechanisms, as you mentioned, are now able to be, surface, and, and. Now pathways to start to rise up and start to grow in terms of visibility and impact and all those things. And so I don't know how long it'll take us or other people to kind of figure that out.

I mean, I, I think that it's still very nascent, but I'm pretty certain in the next, you know, year or two, that Teeter point, these discovery mechanisms will start to exist and actually create pathways. You know, communities and different movements to start small and, and, you know, get the, get the, I guess, support and attention that they deserve as they grow and become, I guess, a bigger part of.

, the, the different spaces that they're trying to, to support an occupy. and, and I think that that is fundamentally a good thing because traditionally, especially like the investing world, right. You know, there were no pathways for different communities to be a part of the investing process in the technology world.

And I think that because of that, inability to access that capability, that tool set that community. a lot of people. You know, excluded from technology and investing. And that has led to things like inequality. And, and, and I think that the world wants something different. And I think that with Dell technologies and other things, I think that now there are pathways for that to start out.

Yeah,

Laide: I definitely hope so. I really, you know, everyone keeps talking about the promise of web three and how it's going to help with making things more equitable. And, you know, it's still early and I haven't seen it yet, but I'm just hoping that we eventually get to a point where it's a little bit more equitable than what we have today.

So I'm optimistic that things would change hopefully. yeah.

Ian: Yeah, me too. I mean, that's, that's why I entered it eight years ago and the only way. The only way that that's going to happen is if people build, you know, build for that. So we view ourselves as part of that, but there, there are others. And so I'm optimistic that, folks like us and others will be able to figure that out and crack that nut because otherwise who else is going to do it.

Laide: Fantastic. I'm glad you're thinking about that. So then moving forward a little bit then, so I know Sinica DAO allows a lot of people to come together and form a DAO, but just talk really quickly about the process of forming a DAO. Like how does. The whole process.

Ian: I would say that we've developed a particular tool that we launched last week, for investment club, what three investment closes we call them.

And the process for creating that is typically a lot simpler than like, like a big, big DAOs. So like if you're creating like a really big DAO in the hundreds or thousands of people, there are a lot of different purposes for a day. Of that scale and depending on that purpose and that DAO of that scale, it can be really, really difficult.

And the pathways to how to do that can look very different. and so. he can talk about that. But I think like for us, in particular, with what we call Western investment clubs, which are, it's actually model that has existed for hundreds of years, investment clubs have existed before with three and even the internet where it was often like this group of friends and a community, maybe they met up at a community center or the met at a restaurant.

, the first one was actually in 18, 19. And I don't know what they were doing. Like maybe they're investing in the horses to get, I'm not really sure, but you know, like traditionally, what investment clubs have been are these like groups of people that come together, they like, hang out. They talk about like often stocks or real estate or whatever.

And they like pull their assets and they buy, you know, they invest in things together and that model is a traditional model. Like you can go to the STCs website and look at all. Kind of ways that they define it. investment clubs, at least in the us. Interestingly, if they meet certain requirements that are actually not considered funds or security offerings and therefore are not regulated by the sec.

And so we've basically modernized investment close forward three, because now with Dell technologies, these investment clubs can run natively on the internet and invest. Internet assets that are being developed natively in one of three. And so what does that mean? Well, oftentimes for an investment club, just like in the real world, they're often friend groups that have been already in place.

Well, before they want to create it, in investing investment club as a DAO syndicate. And so they're often group chats, right? As I was mentioning, like three people, five people, 10 people, sometimes a little bit. And what they'll do is they'll say, Hey, like we've already been maybe buying entities together because you know, we collect NFTs or we've been investing in different web projects or startups or tokens together.

Why don't we just formalize that in, in the form of a investment club on, on syndicate as a doubt, and just do that. What they could do today is they'll just go to syndicate.io. They'll open the application. one of, or the tool, one of the members of that little group will connect their wallet, or connect a wallet.

Like it can be a multisig that's, you know, owned by. multiple members of that group and they will utilize our protocol to create an investment club. Han syndicate has doubt, and that process takes less than a minute. Like it's a few clicks, like, what is the name of your club? How many people do you want?

It can be a part of it. And then basically just hit button and the DAO gets created on top of that. And then what the community or that little group can do is now immediately start utilizing all of these tools that are a lot as a result of turning that wallet into a DAO syndicate and, start clubbing their assets together, investing their assets together and managing their assets together.

And so what, what syndicate, you know, opens up are things like tools that, for example, simplify, clubbing assets together. automate a lot of the asset management and portfolio management of what that club invests in. So it like visualizes in real time. What tokens, what NFTs and what startups that club has invested in manages the cap table, you know, automates kind of, manage like reporting of different transactions.

We've even like made it as simple as possible for investment clubs on syndicate to. for example, utilize legal docents that were developed in our teaming with, and walk-ins for investment clubs. If these investment clubs also want protectionism in the real world, they can get that so they can utilize our docent signing tool.

They can also, via a partnership that we have with a FinTech called doula, get legal entities, bank accounts, make state tax filings, or state compliance filings, do annual hit ones and tax filings really easily via doula. So that. It just takes all of that kind of burden off of them. So we just want to make these, these tools as simple and as easy to use as possible.

And so, you know, for investment clubs specifically, that's what different groups can expect and you know, it's not, you know, like for example, they need to. Copy code and know how to deploy ERC 20 contract and all of a sudden stuff. Like we just make that as simple as possible so that groups can focus on what they do, which is invest together as opposed to like building all this from scratch, which is.

It's kind of a pain and, you know, somewhat complicated. That's neat.

Laide: Thanks for walking me through that process. That's really cool to see that sticking on the web three investment clubs that you just talked about, do the investors that did be accredited and also, is there a minim amount that is required to open a investment DAO and.

Ian: Yeah, so I'll take it in reverse order. So the cost to start a DAO and an investment club on syndicate as a DAO, it's just the cost of gas. We, you know, this, this tool is free. We think it's really important actually, that the tool is free because if we're going to democratize access, right, we need to make it as, widely available as possible.

So, you know, typically with hearing gas fees, that can range anywhere from a hundred to. Sometimes, if, you know, there's a lot of Hannity stuff going on on Ethere, they can cost up to like $300 in gas, but, you know, that's relative to other like, you know, comparable tools. That's actually either, you know, w inline or even more efficient.

, so that's the only cost. And then obviously he wasn't like a bank account, legal MDs tax filings and stuff like that. Like you can directly pay doula and our partner doula and they'll take care of. which, you know, they have like a different pricing schedule for their services. but that's pretty much it.

So as far as like minim, there is no minim. It's just like, you know, you probably don't want to. In investment club for a hundred bucks, if it's going to be like $200 in gas, right? The, as far as unaccredited non-accredited or accredited investor, that's, much more nuanced. So, you can have members of investment club who are not accredited interestingly, and that's totally fine.

That's true about investment clubs in the real world. Not, not just in one of three. However, if an investment club is going to invest in something. That requires that investor to be accredited, then the investment club and all of its numbers also need to be accredited. So where does that apply? that typically applies in the case of like investing in startups, right.

, when you invest in a startup, the startup often asks you to represent that you as an investor, Har an accredited investor and in those scenarios, right, the investment club and all of its numbers will there for me to be accredited as a result. and so, you know, it will be on, it will really depend on what the investment club is investing in.

But that said like, just like in the real world where these investment clubs that meet up in community centers, they can. Trade ideas about investing in different stocks, which are securities and other things. Right? Same thing as true about investment clubs in web three, like. You know, by NFTs and by, invest in tokens and other things.

I mean, obviously like they should, you know, check and understand what their own lawyers like, what, what they shouldn't shouldn't do, but you know, that, that is, that is fine. And so it really just depends on what they're investing in. And so, that's why we, you know, you know, we advise and strongly encouraged that all investment clubs.

, check with their own counsel to just double check to make sure that what they're trying to do is, is permissible. According to various accreditation.

Laide: and so we can have just some more rules, like, what are your thoughts on, you know, legality and DAO's and do you think Dallas would eventually be their own sort of entity and recognized as such?

I know why it has a role now that allows that to happen, but are you seeing any movement in the regulation side?

Ian: there's a lot of great stuff happening with, like for example, Wyoming DAO law, you know, there are a lot of really smart people that are, you know, Pushing the edges in terms of, you know, recognizing DAO's, I guess, as their own kind of entities.

And this I'm sure is going to not just happen to here in the U S but also globally. And I think that we're now, or we'll certainly in, in the coming months or year, starts to see countries start to move into that. I think the reality though, is that, you know, the law is pretty complicated and it moves at its own pace.

Right? And so I think that what that means is that a lot of DAOs that are going to be created are ultimately in the near term, at least until we have like more clarity from different states or, or countries in the near term that are, they're likely whether we liked it or not going to be forced fit into some existing.

, regulatory or legal framework for an organization. and, and that process will force fit DAOs according to their purpose intent, and also, how they're designed and, and operate. And so some of these DAOs will look actually. For example, corporations, some of them will look like investment companies.

Some of them will look like non-profits and a variety of a whole host of other things. And so I think that, my view, which may be a little bit too pragmatic, some, some might feel is that in the near term, it's actually, it actually is important to consider what is the best legal structure. or legal structures that exist today for Dallas based on their purpose.

And actually rather than try to work around that, try and work with that. because in my opinion, and I think this is true for how we're thinking about it. Syndicate. I don't think that it's the right thing to kind of, asse that, DAO's are this different thing because, you know, that may not be the best approach.

To protecting not only the doubt, but also the numbers of, of these dolls, you know, legally or whatever. And so I think in the near term, until we have like this kind of doubt recognized as a different type of organization, or probably many types of organizations, I do think that is important that, we, we consider, what, you know, how they should be used in.

And designed them as such because otherwise, I think that a lot of these doubts may not end up making it out on, on the other end because they weren't, you know, thoughtful, I guess, about what category of, of legal structure or whatever they may, fit into. And so we're doing our best to try and help them.

Figure that out and we'll continue to do so.

Laide: Yeah. So you've been in this space now for, you said over eight years now, and you know, you've obviously seen things change in the last few years. So just curious, where else you think the space needs to evolve into? What has met your expectations? What hasn't met your expectations?

How do we progress from here?

Ian: I

Laide: guess I could be whatever Dallas web three can make it open.

Ian: Sure. Sure. You know, I've been around a long enough to see a number of cycles to know that things kind of come up. and then they, they come up again, years later in a different form. And when they come up in a different form, they actually evolve and that's what actually takes them to the next level.

So I think that DAOs are having that moment or go about to have that moment, because, you know, as I mentioned, DAO's are not a new concept. Like they originally came up in 2016, which was, you know, gosh, six years ago at this point. but they're now having kind of this, moment where I think that people are starting to see all the different, I guess, designs and applications of, I think in a similar way in FTS, you know, have that as well last year.

, You know, to this day where kind of teas, we're not a new concept. I mean, they, they originally came out in 2017, 2018, but they kind of, you know, sort of, I don't know, went through a trough of disillusionment, in 20 18, 20 19, but then they came back in 2020 in a different way. And now they're really exciting and transformative because they they've taken a different.

And I think DAOser are going to be similar. Right? So a lot of the assptions of DAO's from previously, namely, even in the name itself, decentralized autonomous organization, I think that we are going to see that all of those words are. test it actually doesn't mean it's going to go away because I think that like the name or the acronym Dal is very sticky.

Like for example, our all doubt is going to be decentralized or rather, can DAOs live on a spectr of de-centralization are all DAOs autonomous or. Exists on a spectr of autn automation are all DAOs organizations or, mine, towels, not just the organizations. Could they be other things? I think that that is, I know that's very, broadened and kind of nebulous, but I think that that's, what's going to happen in the next couple of years with cows.

And as we start to look at these things, With a fresh lens and, start with different assptions about what gals actually are. I think it's going to open up the design space for them. I think it's going to open up the number of applications for them. And as a result of that, I think that DAOs are going to start to, make a huge impact in ways.

, previously the space might not have expected. Yeah. That makes sense.

Laide: And you're so right. I've always thought like the name DAO was a little bit misleading and I do, I do agree. I think they will all live in some sort of spectr, but to your point, the names are already sticky. I don't think will ever change, but I do.

Literal meaning of those words will definitely look different in application. So, yeah. It's interesting. Awesome. Thank you so much. And then what's next for syndicate? what are you up to? I know we've talked about the investment clubs. Is there anything else you want to highlight? Are you thinking about pushing things forward in the org?

Anything you want to share for us here?

Ian: Yeah. I mean, it's still super early, right? We just launched our first tool last week. Less than a week ago. Yeah. We've seen. and we're seeing just tremendous kind of growth, over the last several days in terms of new and communities, created on syndicate. And we're starting to just see all these like, really amazing things that these dads want to do, whether it's like investing in NFTs together.

Or they're in some cases taking on more social missions, like investing more women or investing in more musicians to, you know, enter web three and, and that is really inspiring. And we can't wait to see all the other things that, you know, these, these groups will do. I think we've got a lot of work to do, you know, obviously to continue to kind of respond to those users, requests and needs.

, we're seeing a lot of. Different features that people want added to our, our tool in the new capabilities added to our tools. So we're, Arnie, we've already been working on a number of those, but, but, you know, we're, we're learning about new things every day. And so we're trying to keep up with, with all of those requests at the same time.

, we've already been working on three other products, other tools over the last number of months in private beta with different communities. And some of those are at different levels of maturity. We are planning to release those in the coming month or months. And we're really excited about those because I think that, similar to our investment club, These other tools that we're building are going to continue to radically kind of democratize these tools to build communities, to, for community, to invest in what, what matters to them.

And I think that, we're, we're super excited to get these things right and release them, to, to as many people and as many communities in the world so that, they can start to, be a part of, you know, this process of billing. this new internet that is emerging. So you know, more to come on that front, but, but we're, we're really, working in super hard behind the scenes on those things.

And then at that point,

Laide: he is one of your goals to be like the premier location. If people want to spin up communities and they need a bunch of tools and to set, to set that up, would you is syndicated trying to just be that central place. Folks who do that, or is that just a by-product of you sort of filling the needs for your community?

You know, we're,

Ian: we're very user driven, I guess. And so we'll, we'll always, I guess, responded and build with our users and with our customers in whatever direction that they take us. I think for now we're really focused on. democratizing invested the tools to invest. And I think that, like, what we're finding is, is really profound ideas around what even that means.

So typically people think of investing in terms of capital and money, right? that's that's how it's viewed traditionally, but I think that investing can be broadened in terms of its definition to encompass. things beyond just financial capital. There can be things like social and human capital that is invested in, can be invested in.

And so, there were, I guess, ideas. Tools and opportunities that we are currently exploring and building with different communities to count that out. Because I think that in this world where capital's infinite and effectively commoditize things like social capital and human capital, we're actually going to be even more important from an investing perspective than just money.

Laide: Yeah. But that makes total sense. Thanks for sharing that. And they just like, you know, lastly, what, what are some of your favorite dollars, any dollars you want to highlight for us? So we should know about. Do you love them all equally?

Ian: It's like choosing your favorite baby is possible. I mean, I'm really inspired by these doubts that have actually in many cases, just come to us organically to work with.

, that are focused on empowering more women. You know, I've been in crypto for eight years and put you in before crypto, actually for almost a decade. Prior to that, I was a part of either a women CEO companies or primarily women led companies. That's really important to me, for a variety of reasons. I mean, for women, but also just for the space in general, and for other communities that deserve to be a part, deserve that a seat at the table.

You know, it's, it's really important because if we're building this internet, for the, for the entire world, we need the entire world to be a part of the investing and building process. And I think that it is time for. communities like more women and other groups to start to become a bigger part of this process.

And I, I, I now see the pathways for that. and so I'm really, really inspired by those groups. You know, I, I think there are too many names to name, but some of them that we've been working with include. Like this group call, BFF DAO, there's one called Eve. there's another one called women in VC DAO the council DAO, we3 and so many others.

And so, I'm excited actually for them to actually start collaborating, which is already starting to happen. and for them to inspire more communities like them, either directly or even adjacent to. so that we can all build this world together. It's, it's not only important, but, but necessarily in my opinion,

Laide: thank you for saying that.

And I agree with that. It's one of the reasons I reached out to you because I I'd been observing your activity for a while in line. And I was like, He talks the talk and he walks the walk. And I want to just reach out and talk to you. So thank you for your time today. And yeah, I'll link all those resources in the show notes.

They all seem pretty amazing. Any other recommended resources for anyone who's looking to learn more about syndicate DAOs, the space in general

Ian: Follow us on Twitter at syndicateDAO. you can also go to our website, syndicate.io. We have tons of resources, that we've been making available, from, from us, but also various, you know, external resources that we've found over the years.

I've been really helpful to people with thinking about like embarking on this journey of starting a DAO. You know, we, we, we're trying to educate as much as possible and make as much information as transparent and available so that, you know, we really helped democratize this not only tool, but also knowledge.

So, yeah, you can start there. there are a lot of other great, things like, for example, Andreessen Horowitz has this, DAO cannon, on their website, which has links to a whole bunch of, resources that have been created by others in the past couple of years, actually on DAOs. And so I think those are two really great places to start.

, obviously like, you know, so much happens on a daily basis, that, Twitter’s obviously a great place. Actually. Another one is called DAO masters. This was a community effort.

And so that's also a great resource that has come up recently from the community.

Laide: Fantastic. I will link all those. this has been amazing and thank you so much for your insights and your time today. Really, really appreciate.

Ian: Oh, no problem. Thanks for all the work that you're doing. I think, you know, we're all part of this together and the only way that we're going to be able to achieve our collective mission is, is together.

So thank you for this opportunity, and I'm excited to keep listening to this podcast, over the years, con

Laide: thank you so much for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe wherever you listen to podcast. I'm your host Laide until next time.